Tuesday, September 07, 2010


Wake up call

Kellisha Ollivierre from Kingstown Hill St Vincent, just 24 years old and most likely had dreams of a long happy life. Those dreams were rudely interrupted by the fires that raged through the Barbadian store Campus Trendz as robbers/arsonists turned a business place into an inferno and taking with them 6 lives. I didn't know Kellisha Ollivierre beyond the cursory interaction at "Lady J", the food establishment in Kingstown where she once worked. In fact, I never even knew her name until new of her death filtered through the community and the inevitable pictures popped up on people's Facebook profiles. I don't think that there is anything else I could say that has not been said already; but it is my hope that their loved ones find solace.

Coming out of this horrific story is the need for buildings to be built with more than one exit/entrance. It is as if we never imagine that disaster would befall us only to react when it does happen. Some of the buildings in Kingstown that have additional exits actually have these doors padlocked. Mind boggling isn't it? The earthquake that shook the Caribbean in Nov 2007 saw terrified persons jostling each other to escape via a single point. It's a miracle that persons were not injured in the chaotic scenes that were played out in some business places in Kingstown.

I've long remarked on the lack of preparedness during the Hurricane season. There is a stark absence of hurricane shutters on Vincentian homes despite the ever present threat of hurricanes. Yet we go along merrily, holding our collective breaths when a storm threatens only to exhale when it bypasses us. In fact, Vincentians have adopted a cocky approach to the hurricane season proclaiming loudly to all who would listen that we are Hairoun-Home of the Blessed. Left unsaid is those who were battered by Mother Nature's fury are cursed for want of a better word.

It's too late for Kellisha and the others but my hope is that their deaths will drive home the need for strict adherence to building codes. This laissez -faire attitude with respect to people's lives has to end. I certainly do not want to see another mother covering her grief with dark glasses and trying to make sense of the senseless.

eh eh but ya aint even mention that the death aint occur in st vincent but was actually in Barbados.

but yea I think the caribbean in general we too lax with safety regulations. is true that bad accidents is the exception not the rule but ya have to plan and guard against the exception is the way i feel bout it.
Yeah J, will correct it shortly. One weekend newspaper in SVG had as its lead story the lack of attention to building codes. Go figure
Sad story. Bad way to go.
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